Viewer Press Pass

Dear Viewers,  

Last night we did our two-hour (11p.m. - 1a.m.) post convention show from a Boston hotel rooftop with almost no problems. I know how I would characterize the police siren that sounded in the background more than once during the show (that's a problem) but not sure how to characterize the fireworks. The fireworks were beautiful but were loud and might have seemed odd in the background of our show. I will have to let you decide this.

I did run into a huge problem when we took phone calls from viewers but I have only myself to blame. My stage manager held up a sign that said “30 hard” — meaning 30 seconds to break and I had to hit the break at 30 or the computer would simply do it for me. Having the computer rip you off air for a break is ugly ... so I instead interrupt guests if there is likely to be a problem.

At “30 hard” I elected to take a phone call from a viewer. I thought at the time I would take the call, field it myself so I could control the time for an answer and get out on time. The caller was a very nice woman whose son is serving our country in Iraq. The last thing I want to do is cut off a woman whose son is serving in Iraq!

As luck would have it, as she finished her comment, she specifically directed a question at our guest Ceci Connolly of the Washington Post. I had no choice but to let Ceci say a word or two —-but I was in a terrible bind with the clock running down. To try and help myself, I made a frantic winding down sign to Ceci ... but, alas, I did it as the director took a wide shot of Ceci and me.

Out of the corner of my eye I could see a TV monitor and could see on TV my hand wildly trying to get Ceci the message I needed a short answer from her. Frankly I thought it made me look very rude when the truth was I was trying to solve a big problem I had gotten myself into. I suppose I should not have taken that last call when I was told “30 hard,” but I actually love taking calls from viewers and could not resist.

In my TV career at CNN I guest hosted Larry King's show where calls are taken from viewers and I always had fun. I do like to hear what viewers think and I enjoy the dialogue ... and I often learn something new.

I hope you enjoy the pics I took for you today. And yes, the pics are from a professional, but are definitely behind the scenes.


Do you have something you'd like to say to Greta? Please write to her at!

Watch On the Record with Greta Van Susteren weeknights at 10 p.m. ET